Dating a painter
These writings, added after the painting was completed, could be mounted together with the painting but on another piece of paper or silk (as was the case with handscrolls) or even invaded the picture surface itself (as in the case of the album leaf or the hanging scroll).
One other format, the standing screen painting, because it was used as a functional home furnishing element, deteriorated rapidly through frequent movement and exposure.As a result, applying paint to a silk surface requires more painstaking techniques, building up ink and colors carefully and gradually in layers.Paper, in contrast, is more absorbent and is favored for spontaneous effects.Paintings produced for screens were often salvaged and remounted as hanging scrolls.
Many of the paintings that we know today in one format may well have originated in another and could have been used in another context entirely.
Handscrolls are typically between nine and fourteen inches in height but may vary greatly in length; one of the longer paintings discussed in this unit is almost 29 feet long.